Medical experts from this site have done research and found out that otitis externa is an inflammatory process in the external auditory canal. Often the cause of this disease is bacterial infections.
The development of otitis externa is facilitated by independent manipulations in the ear canal, in particular, cleaning the ears with sticks or other means. During this procedure, not only the sulfur (which has protective properties) is removed, but also microtrauma is applied, as a result of which the skin of the ear canal becomes vulnerable to various microorganisms.
Also, the patient may develop an unpleasant odor from the affected ear. It is not uncommon for patients to complain of “swelling in the ear” which prevents them from cleaning their ears with a Q-tip or inserting earplugs or earbuds. In some cases, the general condition may worsen with an increase in body temperature.
An ear swab may also be required to identify the causative agent and determine its sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.
In the case of severe or recurring otitis externa, the tests necessary to exclude diabetes mellitus, HIV infection or other immunodeficiency conditions are mandatory.
In some cases, the doctor injects a turunda moistened with a medicine into the ear. An important point in therapy is the regular holding of the toilet of the external auditory canal by an ENT doctor. In case of severe ear pain, painkillers are used for the patient in the first days of the illness.
In case of a severe course of the disease, the severity of symptoms, high body temperature and a significant deterioration in the general condition of the patient, systemic antibacterial drugs are used. If necessary, with necrotizing otitis externa, surgical treatment is performed – excision of necrotic tissues is performed.
Complications of otitis externa may include a chronic process with frequent relapses, the spread of infection to nearby tissues (for example, lymph nodes, auricle).
Necrotizing otitis externa can be complicated by mastoiditis, osteomyelitis of the skull bones, cranial nerve paresis, thrombosis of the sigmoid sinus or jugular vein, meningitis, and brain abscess.
Prevention of otitis externa
It is also recommended to use a swimming cap when visiting the pool, wash your ears with fresh clean water after swimming in the sea, lake and other bodies of water. After bathing, dry your ears with a towel (not cotton swabs). In addition, it is necessary to protect the ears from irritating substances (for example, hairspray, paint).